The end of an old year tends to bring out the predictor urge in many of us. We look back at the 12 months that is now in the history books and wonder what the new year will bring.
Instead of looking ahead only a few months, I thought it would be fun to leap forward a decade. What will be different in 2027? What things that we take for granted today may not exist in their present form in 10 years? Here are a handful that might come to pass:
1) Black Friday will have passed away from lack of interest and the steady shift to Internet shopping. Already Americans are buying more online during the holidays than at brick and mortar stores. That trend will only accelerate. The idea of rushing out to shop right after Thanksgiving dinner, or getting in line at 5:00 AM for a chance to save on a PlayStation will be a distant memory. Such a shift will also mean the end to many of the physical stores that populate our malls and strip centers.
2) Retirement will be later for the majority of folks. No longer will 65 be the target age, rather 70 or even 75 will become the new norm. As we live longer, retiring at 65, or earlier, would mean preparing for retirement investments to last at least 30 years. Many people will find that unpractical. The government will find ways to trim Social Security and Medicare entitlements, putting more pressure on people to save more and delay retirement. Recent studies say 27 % of us will delay retirement for as long as possible, while 12% claim to want to never stop working. Those numbers are likely to increase.
3) Grown children will be much less likely to live with their parents. Today approximately 1/3 of young adults live with their parents. Actually, a higher percentage of those 18-34 are back at home rather than living with partners. Over the next decade any lingering effects of the 2008-2010 recession will have long since faded into memory and the economy will have found a new footing, unless history is about to repeat itself. Young adults will choose shared housing, living with partners, or as singles. Mom and dad will be pleased.
4) Electric automobiles will be commonplace. There will be as many charging stations as gas stations. With batteries able to hold a charge much longer, electric cars will be practical for both commuting and trips of a few hours. Prices will have dropped, making plug-in cars affordable for many.
5) Streaming entertainment choices will have replaced almost all cable systems. The idea of having to sit in front of a television to watch favorite shows will seem so old-fashioned. Choosing to be entertained on any number of devices from any number of sources, is already quite common. With 100 million American households still using cable TV, the growth potential for alternatives is enormous. Options that bundle fewer channels for much less money will be the norm. Cord cutting will change the entertainment industry forever.
6) Buying recorded music or movies will fade away. Owning a CD or DVD will make little sense when virtually anything ever recorded or produced will be available on demand. Live concerts will remain popular unless ticket prices continue to reach nose-bleed levels. Big screen, 3D movies will still motivate folks to leave home to be entertained, but there will be added extras, like virtual reality headsets, to remain attractive.
These six possibilities are just the start. What can you add to the list? Look down the road 10 years and tell us what you see.